COVID-19 PPE arrives for Provincial and District health workers.
UNICEF Zimbabwe, through the UNICEF Global Supply Hub in Copenhagen has supplied 16 metric tons of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
UNICEF Zimbabwe, through the UNICEF Global Supply Hub in Copenhagen has supplied 16 metric tons of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health and medical workers in the fight against COVID-19 in Zimbabwe.
With the support of the Health Development Fund donors, the EU, DFID, SIDA-Sweden, Irish Aid and Gavi a consignment of equipment including medical masks and protective gowns arrived in Harare in mid-May after extensive work from UNICEF Zimbabwe and its global Supply Division in Copenhagen. Working with the Ministry of Health and Child Care the equipment has been distributed to all provinces for use in medical facilities and for distribution to district and community levels.
Chimupunga Mashaya is a Pharmacy Technician at Mashonaland Central Provincial Hospital, Bindura. He said that despite the challenges and a general shortage of masks, the new supplies were welcome and timely.
While Mashonaland Central has not recorded any cases of COVID-19 (as of 26th May), the PPE was crucial as pre-positioning at all the medical facilities in the Province in case of outbreak of COVID-19.
“We are the central hub for the Province for PPE and we work out the distribution needs of the 12 district hospitals in the Province as well as the community health facilities and we assign and distribute PPE and medicines to them,” said Chimupunga.
About 30km away at Shamva District Hospital, patients are screened at the entrance of the hospital for both malaria and COVID-19. The Provincial Epidemiological and Disease Control Officer (PEDCO), Dr Stanley Tapesana inspects the isolation facility set up at the hospital to serve the district when COVID-19 cases are found.
“We also developed an Emergency Response Box for COVID-19 for community level testing which includes all the items and equipment needed by remote health workers when responding and screening for COVID-19,” he said. “We have not had any cases in our province yet, but we are testing and also receiving returnees from other countries into quarantine centers, who we are testing and keeping isolated for 21 days.”
UNICEF Zimbabwe supports the Government through several pillars of the national response to COVID-19 including coordination, risk communications and community engagement, infection and prevention control, case management and supplies and logistics.
A local teacher’s college (Madziwa Teachers’ College) in Shamva District has been turned into a district quarantine center for residents of the District who have returned from abroad (mostly neighbouring countries). The center currently houses 49 people including children, who must stay there for 21 days (and remain negative for COVID-19) before they can return to their homes.
The center supplies those in quarantine with ample food and has free wifi for them to use during the stay. The medical staff test the returnees at designated intervals during the quarantine period using the full PPE equipment required to safely prevent transmission of COVID-19.